Category Archives: Literary

One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn

One For Sorrow BookPublisher: Clarion Books
Sold By: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: July 18, 2018

Okay, I’ll admit the cover drew me to this story! But look at it, soooo spooky! ONE FOR SORROW is set during World War I and the influenza epidemic of 1918, this story unravels the tale of childhood school days gone wrong. Annie is eager to make friends at her new school, but Elsie claims her as her own bestie, refusing to allow Annie to connect with other girls. After Elsie passes from influenza, her ghost returns to torment Annie for befriending others and to make sure Annie is isolated and disliked as much as she had been when alive.

While this was an easy read, Elsie didn’t become a ghost until halfway into the story. This was delayed longer than I’d anticipated, making some of the bullying redundant in order to get to the good stuff–a scary ghost! And even though the historical setting enriched the story, I felt cheated with the lack of generational terms. But make no mistake, author Mary Downing Hahn creates a realistic story of how easy it is to get swept into bullying when a child just wants to be liked. She also paints a cruel tale of how difficult it is to get out of a this horrible situation. So, if you’re looking for a darker read, this is for you!

Mary Downing Hahn

Mary Downing Hahn, a former children’s librarian, is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories, including Wait Till Helen Comes, which is being adapted for film. An avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland, with her cat, Oscar.

***THE OFFICIAL BLURB***

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

Amazon | BN | Kobo| Google PlayGoodreads | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | Target | BAM! | Audible

And check out these additional reviews:

“Hahn’s story is characteristically steeped in eerie atmosphere, and the novel’s blend of historical drama, the supernatural, and the intricacies of adolescent friendship is a gripping combination.” —PW

“Hahn is a veteran author who clearly knows her apples about writing ghost stories, as this, her latest inventive page-turner, evidences… Shivers aplenty, but also genuine emotion that will invite empathy.” — Booklist

“Another historical and chilling success.” —Kirkus

“Another solid addition to Hahn’s oeuvre, this would also make a spine-chilling pair with Cohen’s The Doll’s Eye.” —Bulletin

Author Links: Website | Facebook

Internship Opportunity for The Bent Agency

Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency is looking for an intern to read young adult and middle grade fiction for her. This is a remote and unpaid internship. Her expectations are that the intern reads and reports on an manuscript every two weeks. Applicants should be familiar with all sorts of YA & MG, especially literary-commercial. Molly would like someone with knowledge of New York Time Best Sellers and has interests in authors like Katherine Rundell, John Corey Whaley, Stephanie Kuehn, Margo Lanagan, Jack Gantos, Marie Rutkoski, Naomi Novik, Jacqueline Woodson, E Lockhart, Gene Luen Yang, Libba Bray…and, of course, her own clients.

For guidelines and how to apply, go here. As always, good luck!

P. D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction

 

Operation Awesome: Pass or Pages

PASSORPAGES

Operation Awesome is hosting a Pass or Pages this month. For this round, the category is  for contemporary romance (novels intended for adults, not YA). Submissions open between July 10 (6am EST) to  July 12 (6pm EST), 2017. This is an opportunity to get feedback from an agent on your query and first 250 words of your manuscript. Peeps, this is priceless! And as a possible bonus, the agent reserves the right to request your FULL.

The participating agents are:

There will be a form for submissions on Operation Awesome when the entry window opens. For complete rules and previous feedback reveals, go here. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

LOUISE MERIWETHER FIRST BOOK PRIZE

Feminist Press

Once again, the Feminist Press has partnered with TAYO Literary Magazine to for a contest seeking the best debut books by women and nonbinary writers of color to celebrate author Louis Meriwether’s achievements. This contest is for first time authors. Submit your complete manuscript of fiction (including novels and short story collections) or narrative memoir between 50,000 and 80,000 words. Capture their attention with your words to receive $5,000 and a publishing contract from the Feminist Press!

Thanks to TAYO Literary Magazine for their support!

The second annual Louise Meriwether First Book Prize entries will close on July 31, 2017. To learn how to enter and complete guidelines, go here. As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

A Query Workshop with Agent Jim McCarthy

PitchWars-LogoWEBINARS

Pitch Wars Webinars presents a query workshop with agent Jim McCarthy, Vice President of Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret Literary Agency.

Per Brenda Drake’s website: Jim McCarthy invites you to peek behind the curtain and watch exactly what happens when an agent considers your query. Working from your pre-submitted queries,  participants will have the chance to read along with him as he decides whether to stop reading or carry on. You’ll see the exact moment in query letters that he perks up or passes.

  • Date: Tuesday, July 25
  • Time: 8:30 pm ET
  • Cost: $25 to attend the workshop
  • Note: 30 person limitation

This is an excellent opportunity to know if your query letter is working. But you need to hurry if you’re going to attend. Go here for information on how to enroll. And of course, remember this is a subjective market, so what doesn’t work for Mr. McCarthy, might work for another agent.

Happy 4th of July!!!

Image result for happy july 4 gifs

Hooray! It’s another year of celebrating the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted 239 years ago on July 4, 1776. It’s a time of celebration with our families and friends, watching fireworks, and eating lots of food.  As you prepare for your day of fun, here are a few facts you may not know:

  • Although adopted on July 4, it wasn’t officially signed on this day.
  • More than one copy exists.
  • A riot broke out in New York upon the news and a statue of George III was melted to shape more than 42,000 musket balls.
  • Eight of the 56 signers were born in Britain and not America.
  • Richard Stockton became the only signer to later recant his support of the revolution.
  • One of the copies sold for $8.1 million.

For expanded explanations and additional things you may not know, go to History.com. As always, be safe and have a great day!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction

Worldcon 75

Image result for worldcon 75

Helsinki, Finland was selected to host the 75th Worldcon on August 9th through 13th 2017. They will be celebrating their national centennial. They invite you to explore their unique culture, a blend of east and west. From museums to music, fashion to food, art and design, Finland has a lot to offer.

Worldcon 75 will feature writers, artists, musicians, editors, publishers, critics, scientists, and fans with interests across the full spectrum of science fiction and fantasy.

GUESTS OF HONOR

  • John-Henri Holmberg (born 1949 in Stockholm) is a Swedish author, critic, publisher and translator, and a well-known science fiction fan.
  • Nalo Hopkinson (born in 1960 in Kingston) is an award winning Jamaican author.
  • Johanna Sinisalo (born in 1958 in Sodankylä) is an award winning Finnish science fiction and fantasy writer. She is also a successful screenwriter.
  • Claire Wendling (born 1967 in Montpellier) is a French comics artist, illustrator, and cover artist.
  • Walter Jon Williams is an award-winning American author, with strong ties to Finland (all his grandparents were born there).

There are many other guests like NASA Astronaut Dr. Kjell N. Lindgren and science guest Professor Ian Stewart. There are over 120 authors, artists, musicians, editors, publishers, critics, and scientists attending. So, you never know who you’ll be having coffee with in the morning. Check out the complete list here.

If you want to go, rooms are filling up fast at nearby hotels. So hurry if you plan on attending. As always, have fun and happy mingling and learning.

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

#MenteesHelpingMentees has opened early!

Mentees Helping Mentees

For all the Pitch Wars hopefuls this year, the class of 2016 mentees have gotten together to offer critiques to 140 writers on their query and first ten pages at Mentees Helping Mentees. They have created seven different Rafflecopters for writers to enter based on age category and a few sub/genres:

  • Middle Grade
  • Young Adult Contemporary and Historical
  • Young Adult Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal
  • Adult Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Adult Romance
  • Adult Mystery & Suspense
  • Adult Other (Historical, Literary, Upmarket, Women’s Fiction)

The giveaway ends on July 2nd, 2017 at 12 am EST. Winners will be notified via Twitter on July 5th. Watch the #menteeshelpingmentees hashtag! Those selected will get their critiques back no later than July 24th (plenty of time to review before Pitch Wars submissions open on August 2nd).

What a fantastic thing for them to do! And remember this is a new thing, so tweet, share, and blog to spread the word. Good luck to all that enter!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh’s #PitchCB on #Twitter

This Friday (June 23, 2017) will be the #PitchCB twitter event hosted by Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency and Conville & Walsh. These events are held on the fourth Friday of most months (so you can catch the next event if you miss this one).

In order to submit, prepare a 140 character pitch including #PitchCB hashtag for your completed manuscript. The window will be open for 24 hours and remember to only pitch once! If your pitch is “liked”, submit directly to that agent following the agencies’ submission guidelines.

As always, good luck!

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.

#PBPitch is Tomorrow!

It’s time for another picture book twitter party using the hashtag #PBPitch! So, if you write or illustrate picture books, this is the event for you. This party will take place Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 8am-8pm EST. But remember, anyone can trawl the feed, so be sure and do your research! There will be legit agents and editors popping in and out, including those that haven’t confirmed attendance. But those that have confirmed are:

  • ​Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency
  • Stephanie Fretwill-Hill, Red Fox Literary
  • Natascha Morris, BookEnds Literary
  • Kari Sutherland, Bradford Literary
  • Erica Rand Silverman, Stimola Literary
  • Cindy Uh, Thompson Literary
  • Jessica Sinsheimer, Sarah Freymann Literary
  • Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Literary Agency
  • Editors from The Innovation Press
  • Roseanne Wells, Jennifer DeChiara Literary
  • Jennie Dunham, Dunham Literary

Be sure and only pitch once before 2pm and once after! (Yes, twice is all you get per manuscript!) If you’re an illustrator, you can attach an image to the pitch. For complete rules and proper hashtags, go here.

As always, good luck!

 

P.D. Pabst
Blogger and writer of MG/YA fiction.